Holy Fuck, what a page! It almost makes me nauseous to look at it. There was so much picky detail on those hideous soldier uniforms that I inherited from “The Mark”, volume one. And I hated drawing the utility belt on The Mark’s costume; all that extra unnecessary detail (since he never put anything in or took anything out of it for the entire duration of volume one or my run on the character). Brrrr.
Anyway, I’ll finish up my serialized essay on my dance with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome by mentioning that there is a definite emotional component. When I resent what I’m called upon to do (like having to do a storyboard test to (try to) get a job, I’m placing myself at risk for a relapse; when the project is fun I can work for hours like there’s never been a problem. My personal interactions can also play a part. I recall one incident in the summer of ’93 where I was employing an assistant to help me on “The Mark”. He was working for me in my garage/studio. I had forgotten to warn him about Thursday street cleaning, and when I went outside I noticed a parking ticket on his windshield. I felt awful- I was only paying $4 an hour, so the ticket would be about as much as he was getting for the day. As I contemplated this, my hand throbbed with pain. I resolved to offer to pay half of his ticket (it was half my fault, I supposed). As soon as I told him about his ticket and made my offer, my hand felt great, better than usual in fact.
I continued to wrestle with this affliction through the remainder of ’93. I finished off “The Mark” project in December, and low on funds (comic work tended to pay about 1/3 what I could make doing animation storyboards) I started shaking the tree to find another animation gig. It sounds weird, but basically I decided I was sick and tired of being injured, that I was healed, and stopped seeing the chiropractors, masseuses, bio-feedback trainers, acupuncturists and Feldenkrais practitioners that were eating up my money and free time. It was several years before I had another relapse.
This is page #8 from Dark Horse Comics #15, “The Mark: What Goes Around”, written by Mike Barr, drawn by Brad Rader, published in December, 1993.